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Designing Open Source

Two weeks ago the 2013 edition of the OpenFest took place – a great opportunity for the open source pros and fans to meet up and exchange ideas. In case you are new to the term, open source is a type of software, where the source code is made available for anyone who wants to edit or extend it. What makes web applications such as Joomla!, WordPress, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, Moodle and many others so popular is that they are open source, which allows anyone to contribute to their development.

OpenFest is a festival of open arts in design and development, whose main purpose is to popularize and educate, develop and discover all sides of the open source software. This year the whole event was streamed live and could be found on Youtube. As always, there were numerous lectures on programming and coding but our attention was caught by the design trends in open source and how dramatically quick they evolve! In fact, the world of open source coding is equally abundant and colorful (if not more so) to those of paid products.

Some programmers underestimate fashion trends in open source, saying they complicate things, rather than make them easier. However, such opinions prove to be obsolete – to the user today aesthetics stand on equal grounds as functionality. Great examples are the desktop environments of KDE and Gnome –  their vision of the future is filled with carefully selected stylish colors and lots of workspace efficiency improvements.

The current trends are definitely geometric forms, primarily inspired by Origami. The Origami style is influenced by the relationship between form and structure, found in nature. From the veins in the leaves to the bones of the skeleton, all these associative elements are used by designers to form dynamic, yet minimalistic visual statements.

The highly compound complex shapes are now substituted by simple cubic or spherical lines. There is a reminiscence of vintage forms, but they are recycled in fresh bright colors, that give them new and youthful outlook. The idea of beauty, combined with simplicity and functionality, is displayed in every product and its every aspect.

Design today proves to be just as important as what lies beneath it – how it looks is equal to how it works. In the rapid changes of trends today, a designer is compelled to quickly adapt and stay on top of the trends.  So designers everywhere, put your “Form-Giver” t-shirts away, break out those old sketchbooks you used to play with as kids, and invite your old Geometry teacher over for a beer and some brainstorming.

Elena Tileva

She's an ambitious and committed to her work young blonde girl and yet there isn't a more lively and easy-going person in the company. She owes that mainly to her little boy who is her biggest treasure and the highlight of her days.

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